Vinitaly International Academy Celebrates Italian Wine and Its First US Italian Wine Expert at Winter Fancy Food Show

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As Winter Fancy Food Show draws to an end today in San Francisco, Vinitaly International with Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) looks back on the eventful three days which saw the four Executive Wine Seminars completely full and a continuous flow of local trade to the Vinitaly International Wine bar.

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Stevie Kim and Ian D'Agata with Geralyn Brostrom

Now I’m just looking forward to spreading the word and this great knowledge in all the rest of the United States

As Winter Fancy Food Show draws to an end today in San Francisco, Vinitaly International with Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) looks back on the eventful three days which saw the four Executive Wine Seminars completely full and a continuous flow of local trade to the Vinitaly International Wine bar.

The specialty food trade event also acted as a backdrop for the announcement of VIA’s very first US Italian Wine Expert: after a two hour resit of the VIA Certification Course Exam, Scientific Director Ian D’Agata and Stevie Kim were thrilled to confer the Italian Wine Expert (IWE) Golden Pin to Geralyn Brostrom, Co-founder and Education Director at Italian Wine Central, thus taking the number of Experts to three in addition to the Academy’s 31 Italian Wine Ambassadors. The announcement comes only a few months away from the second edition of the Vinitaly International Certification Course to be held from the 4th to the 8th of April 2016 in Verona.

“Today is a really exciting day” exclaims Geralyn enthusiastically. “It was a long and rewarding journey. I would like to thank Ian D’Agata for writing the book and Stevie Kim for developing this program and inviting me to be part of it. And now I’m just looking forward to spreading the word and this great knowledge in all the rest of the United States”.

Mrs Brostrom’s nomination comes at an important time for the Italian wine sector in the States. “I think it is very important to have an Italian Wine Expert from the US given the key role played by Italy and the great interest shown by local consumers towards Italian wine” says Stevie Kim, Managing Director of Vinitaly international. “During this three-day event we had a large number of local trade come over to our stand showing great interest in the wines. Many had never tried a great number of the labels we had on display.”

Maurizio Forte, Director of the Italian Trade Commission in New York, shared the same enthusiasm for the outcome of the event: “At Fancy Food in San Francisco wine was not technically the leading Italian product” he explains. “But thanks to the efforts of ICE and Veronafiere with its Vinitaly International Wine Bar, Italian wine has become the real protagonist of the Italy area. Members of the trade who attended the Executive Wine Seminars held by Ian D’Agata and the Wine Bar were really interested in Italian wine. We are market leaders both for sparkling and still wines but moving further away from the big cities it becomes obvious that we need to educate people on Italian wine, especially the Millenials”.

“My wife and I own a restaurant and our wine list only counts a few Italian labels. We need to get people accustomed to new tastes and make them acquainted with new different kinds of wines first. It’s not that easy” says Steve Russo of Bristol’s Ranch House Restaurant in Sierra, California. “The wine bar is such a great idea” he goes on to say “with such a good variety of Chianti. The wines are really excellent, I didn’t have any idea of how different they can be. And you are able to taste them all here at the bar. I’m very excited about it.”

The four Executive Wine Seminars, each represented by a different consortium, that is FIVI (Italian Natural wine association), Etna, Grignolino and Chianti, attracted a large number of attendees who were offered the unique opportunity to taste a wide range of wines from the same Italian region.

“The American market remains today one of the most important for Chianti and these seminars are the perfect tool to communicate to the outside world the greatness of Italian wine. We have the honor and the pleasure to be presented by Ian D’Agata, world famous wine expert. All these elements will undoubtedly strengthen the image of Chianti abroad and within the panorama of the Italian wine sector” says the President of the Chianti Consortium, Giovanni Busi.

“I found the seminar on natural wines to be very informative” concluded Ben Wilson from District Food & Wines. “There are flavours and a uniqueness to Italian wines that I had never experienced before, particularly the Prosecco. It’s a very meaningful wine. So thank you to Vinitaly International Academy for offering this opportunity”.

About:
Veronafiere is the leading organizer of trade shows in Italy including Vinitaly (http://www.vinitaly.com), the largest wine and spirits fair in the world. During its 49th edition Vinitaly counted some 4,000 exhibitors on a 100,000 square meter area and 150,000 visitors including 2,600 journalists from 46 different countries. The next edition of the fair will take place on 10 - 13 April 2016. The premier event to Vinitaly, OperaWine (http://www.vinitalyinternational.com) “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers,” will unite international wine professionals on April 9th in the heart of Verona, offering them the unique opportunity to discover and taste the wines of the 100 Best Italian Producers, as selected by Wine Spectator. Since 1998 Vinitaly International travels to several countries such as Russia, China, USA and Hong Kong thanks to its strategic arm abroad, Vinitaly International. In February 2014 Vinitaly International launched an educational project, the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) with the aim of divulging and broadcasting the excellence and diversity of Italian wine around the globe. VIA has now also organized its very first Certification Course with the aim of creating new Ambassadors of Italian Wine in the World.

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Francesca de Stefani
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